Omar C. Garcia | Bible Teaching Notes
Thursday, October 23, 2014

Barna Research

BELIEFS HELD BY AMERICANS IN REGARD TO THE BIBLE

Beliefs  
  • 60% of all adults agree that “the Bible is totally accurate in all of its teachings (44% agree strongly, 16% agree somewhat) (2001)
  • Blacks are more likely than are whites to agree that the Bible is totally accurate in all of its teachings (75% to 58% respectively). (2001)
  • 13% of born again Christians disagree that "the Bible is totally accurate in all of its teachings." (2001)
  • While millions believe the Bible is accurate in its recording of information, a substantial number of adults do not believe that all of the information is relevant for today. One out of every five adults (18%) contend that one of the renowned portions of the Bible - the Ten Commandments - is not relevant for people living today. (1992)
  • Most people take the Bible at face value when it comes to the descriptions of the miracles that took place. Three out of four adults (73%) believe that all of the miracles described in the Bible actually took place. (1994)
Knowledge  
  • There is much misunderstanding about the history of the Bible. For instance four out of every ten adults (38%) believe that the entire Bible was written several decades after Jesus’ death and resurrection. While this appears to be true for the New Testament, the entire Old Testament was written hundreds of years prior to the birth of Jesus Christ. (1994)
  • Almost two out of three adults (62%) know that the Book of Isaiah is in the Old Testament. One out of ten people (11%) believe it is in the New Testament. One out of four (27%) don’t know. (1994)
  • 12% of adults believe that the name of Noah’s wife was Joan of Arc. (The Bible does not provide her name.) (1997)
  • One out of six people (16%) believe that one of the books in the New Testament is the Book of Thomas, written by the apostle Thomas. Another one-third of the population are not sure whether or not there is such a book in the New testament of the Bible. (1994)
  • Half of all adults (49%) believe that the Bible teaches that money is the root of all evil. One-third (37%) disagree with this contention. The actual teaching indicates that it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. (1994)
  • A majority of adults (56%) are convinced the Bible proclaims that the single, most important task in life is taking care of one's family. (1997)
  • Three-quarters of Americans (75%) believe that the Bible teaches that God helps those who help themselves. (2000)
Ownership  
  • Among households which own a Bible, the typical count is three Bibles per household. (1993)
  • Almost every household in America (92%) owns at least one copy of the Christian Bible. This includes most homes in which the adults are not practicing Christians as well as the homes of hundreds of thousands of atheists. (1993)
  • Bible Reading During A Typical Week By Year

    1988- 36%; 1991- 45%; 1992- 47%; 1993- 34%; 1994- 37%; 1995- 31% ; 1997-36%; 1999- 34%; 2000- 40%; 2001 - 37%

Readership  
  • Women (42%) are more likely than are men (32%) to have read the Bible in the past week. (2001)
  • 85% of evangelical Christians have read the Bible in the past seven days. (2001)
  • Three out of five born again (60%) have read the Bible in the past week, compared to 22% of non-Christians. (2001)
  • Baptists (51%), non-mainline church attenders (50%) and mainline attenders (44%) are significantly more likely than are Catholics (25%) to have read the Bible in the past week. (2001)
  • Bible reading during a typical week drops as age drops: 59% of Seniors; 43% of Builders; 39% of Boomers; and 29% of Busters read the Bible in a typical week. (2001)
  • An estimated 75 million adults (42%) said that reading the Bible is very important to them. (1997)
  • The King James Version is more likely to be the Bible read during the week than is the NIV by a 5:1 ratio. (1997)
  • Among Bible readers, the average amount of time spent reading the Bible during an entire week is 52 minutes. (1997)
  • Slightly more than half of the Protestant adults who read from the Bible during the week read along with other members of their household (57%). Catholics were less likely to read the Bible together (35% of those who had read the Bible in a given week had also read it at least once with other household members). Overall, 24% of all Protestants had a family Bible reading time, compared to just 7% among Catholics. (1994)

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